Imagine you are a resident of Jerusalem, in the year 60 AD. You are taking
a walk throughout the marketplace doing your weekly shopping. You see a man
pull out a dagger and he yells ‘death to all Romans' and attacks a roman guard,
killing him in front of hundreds of spectators. The assassin quietly slips into
the crowd and is lost in a sea of people never to be found. The word of the
attack spreads and soon it is the talk of the town. Many more attacks on Romans
are made by the Sicarii and the Zealots. Sympathizers of the Romans slowly
disappear and their voices vanish from Jerusalem. The fear of terrorism grows
and Roman repression grows along with it, this in turn leads to the people of
Jerusalem to revolt in 70 AD (Miller V). If this attack had been made in some
dark alley with no spectators would the people react the way they did?
The marketplace of old Jerusalem, can be compared to the media of today.
What better place to get the public informed about your reasons and purpose for
attacks than the news. Albert gave a good definition of terrorist's objectives
when he stated: "Terrorists try to exercise influence over targeted officials on
nations through intimidation of the public and arousal of sympathy for the
social and political causes they espouse. Without widespread publicity,
terrorist acts can achieve neither of these effects" (Bandura, Albert qtd. In
Nacos 1). Terrorists need the news media to get the publicity, and the media is
a willing accomplice. The news media is an accessory to terrorism, and as such
they should develop a set of standards that will limit the terrorist ability to
get their message out to a large audien...
... middle of paper ...
...trol of what they report
Theodore H. White sums it up with this statement " …power in America today is
control of the media of communication" (White, Theodore H. qtd. In Nacos 16).
Ala, Odasuo A., and Kenoye Kelvin Eke, ed. Media Coverage of Terrorism. Newbury
Park: Sage Publications, 1991.
Alexander, Yonah, and Richard Latter, ed. Terrorism & the Media. New York:
Brassey's (US), Inc., 1990.
Miller, Abraham H., ed. Terrorism the Media and the Law. New York: Transnational
Nacos, Brigitte L. Terrorism and the media. New York: Columbia University Press,
Paletz, David L., and Alex P. Schmid, Eds. Terrorism and the Media. Sage:
Newbury Park, 1992. (P. 24)
Schmid, Alex P. and Janny de Graaf. Violence as Communication. Beverly Hills:
Sage Publications, 1982.
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